SANDWICHED BETWEEN TELEVISION shows touting moral values, such as Ozzie and Harriet and Father Knows Best, were coffee tables acceptably littered with girly magazines like Playboy Magazine. So it seems odd to me that the 1950s is still considered to epitomize the generation of the ideal family, when just beneath the “happy family” façade was often an atmosphere of violence, terror, and alcoholism. We’ll never now to what extent this occurred, since women who reported it in those days were thought to merely be having sexual fantasies. “Experts” discounted stories of incest, giving it a one-in-a-million probability. Battered women were often thought to have provoked their husband into abusing them.
I don’t recall the exact sequence of events, or which man came first, but for a while I allowed myself to be passed around the neighborhood like a sexual ragdoll in exchange for cookies and candy.